Friday, January 09, 2015

grabbed comet data

8:30 PM. Finally forced myself to head out. Don't be lazy.

The backyard did not appear to be an option. Suddenly I decided to head to the school. Hopefully they'd have a decent sized yard that was reasonably dark.

Put on the long johns. Atop the undershirt and short sleeve shirt, I pulled on long sleeve shirt, the black hoodie, the Michigan sweater, and the red winter coat.

Packed the big tripod (with hex clamp), camera and kit lens, two spare batteries, intervalometer, the netbook, the camera-computer USB cable, a flashlight, and two plastic bags. Stuff the gear in the Targus bag. And out the airlock...

The school yard was not bad. Stupid wall pack lights everywhere. But in the baseball diamond, it was pretty dark to the south and south-east! Surprising.

Brilliant Jupiter to the east.

Did some test shots with the camera, stand-alone. Ugh. Orange sky.

Tried to focus with the back screen. Stopped down the lens. Couldn't leave my gloves off very long. The wind gusted every once in a while.

The thought occurred to me that I'd be ticked off if the focus was bad. So I connected the computer, aimed at Jupiter, switched to automatic, and started to—battery died—replaced the battery, nudged the focus, switched to manual, and then re-aimed toward Orion.

9:16. Finished the test shots. Programmed the EOS Utility "intervalometer" for 5 second delay and 20 shots. Took me a couple of test shots to remember that the interval needed the exposure time. With the camera shooting 10 seconds, I set to interval to 15.

Took in the huge Winter Football while waiting.

I could see Cursa at magnitude 2.8; but not σ Orionis at mag 3.8. Not a terribly dark sky... Mind you I was not full dark adapted.

9:24. Finished acquiring the light frames.

Started the darks run as I tore down the tripod. Continued as I walked back home!

9:30. Finished the darks run half-way along the school's front lawn.

9:35. Bagged the computer and camera on the front porch and headed inside. Face was cold.

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